NCAA FOOTBALL: West Virginia vs Maryland Prediction, Odds and Preview - 08/24/2021

by James Q

NCAA FOOTBALL:  West Virginia vs Maryland Prediction, Odds and Preview - 08/24/2021

Game Time:  3:30 EDT, Saturday, September 4th, 2021
Venue:  Maryland Stadium, College Park, Maryland
Where to Watch: ESPN

Opening MLB Odds at USA Sportsbooks

FanDuel: WVU -2.5; 56.5 O/U
BETMGM: WVU -3;  57.5 O/U

Season Record

West Virginia 0-0  (Big-12)
Maryland  0-0    (Big Ten East)
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West Virginia vs Maryland Preview and Analysis

Recent Form
West Virginia went 6-4 in 2020, 4-4 in conference.  
Maryland went 2-3 in 2020, 2-3 in conference (conference only 2020 for Big Ten)


Offensive Analysis

The West Virginia Mountaineers offense averaged 412 yards per game, 277 yards passing and 135 rushing. Jarret Doege at quarterback racked up 2,587 yards passing 14 TD and 4 INT.  Jarret is a fifth year senior this year and should have all the experience a college quarterback could ever need.  He played 2 seasons at Bowling Green before transferring to West Virginia before the start of 2019.  The result is 33 games played with 60 TD and 22 INT. Coach Neal Brown will rely heavily on his QB.
Head Coach Mike Locksley will have to push the Maryland Terrapins offense with an opportunity Maryland rarely has... a hyped, returning starting quarterback.  Taulia Tagovailoa is back after throwing for 1,111 yards, seven touchdowns and seven interceptions in his debut season. He’ll be throwing again to star receiver Dontay Demus Jr.  The addition of Dan Enos as new offensive coordinator and QB coach should help with the development of a young quarterback with a famous name.

Defensive Analysis

West Virginia parted ways with defensive coordinator Vic Koenning in 2020 and eventually promoted Jordan Leslie to head up the defense…. And then hired ShaDon Brown as Co-defensive coordinator… That’s odd but what works works.  Of course 4-4 in conference in 2020’s truncated season didn’t really work.  So,... hopefully the players take it on themselves to return to the dominant form they showed in 2019 and before.

The Maryland defense gave up 32 points a game.  That’s a lot of work to leave in the hands of the offense that only scored 23.6 points a game.  They are currently promoting the idea that recruiting guru Mike Locksley has led to an uptick on the defensive side of the ball.  They brought in 4 star freshman linebackers ( Lewis, Branden Jennings, Ruben Hyppolite II, and Dameioun Robinson to beef up the interior.

West Virginia vs Maryland Prediction

This game is one of the geographic rivals.  The Maryland fans hate West Virginia and aren’t afraid to show it.  Maybe the hate comes from West Virginia beating Maryland 9 of the ten times they’ve played?  West Virginia come in as a slight road favorite,  and they will face a defense that isn’t ready.

The Prediction of West Virginia vs Maryland, Saturday, September 4th is:  West Virginia 28, Maryland 17
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NCAAF Betting Trends

Maryland is 2-3 in there last 5 games ATS
Maryland is 1-2 in road games ATS
WVU is 2-3 in their last 5 games ATS
WVU have gone Under in 3 of their last 5

Key Injuries

West Virginia:  TE Mike O’laughlin (leg)  Out
Maryland:  RB Peny Boone (concussion) Out

Players to Watch

Maryland:  Taulia Tagovailoa, the junior quarterback will be watched closely by everyone.  Can he live up to the hype of being a pro prospect at a school like Maryland.  His debut was last season.
West Virginia:  Jarret Doege,  The senior twice over should be ready to unleash all he has learned on a Maryland defense that will try to build around top freshman recruits.

Notable Quotes

"As a team you create your team every year. It's different,...We've got an opportunity here this Saturday out at the Shell to go out and create an identity for us and tell what kind of team we're going to be this year." - Mike Locksley, Maryland
"I think [expansion] is on life support now,.... I have one of the votes and I think it nearly needs to be unanimous and I'm not voting for it. I think the Big Ten will not vote for it and the Pac 12 will probably not vote for it either.”  West Virginia President Gordon Gee, talking about College Football Playoff Expansion.

Starting Lineups

West Virginia
QB Jarret Doege
RB Leddie Brown
WR Bryce Ford-Wheaton
WR Sean RYan
WR Winston Wright Jr
LT  Brandon Yates
LG James Gmiter
C  Zach Frazier
RG Doug Nestor
RT  Parker Moore
TE  Mike O’Laughlin
QB  Taulia Tagovailoa
RB  Tayson Fleet-Davis
WR  Jeshaun Jones
WR  Dontay Demus Jr
WR  Rakim Jarret
LT Jaelyn Duncan
LG  Mason Lunsford
C  Johari Branch
RG  Evan Gregory
RT  Spencer Anderson
TE  Chigoziem Okonkwo

Statistical Leaders

West Virginia 
Passing:  Jerret Doege  2,587 yards, 14 TD
Rushing:  Leddie Brown  1010 yards, 9  TD
Receiving:  Winston Wright  553 yards,  2 TD
Maryland Terps

Passing:  Taulia Tagovailoa  1011 yards 7 TD 7 INT
Rushing:  Jake Funk  516 yards, 8.6 yards per carry 3 TD
Receiving: Dontay Demus  365 yards, 4 TD
West Virginia:  head coach Neal Brown
Maryland:  Mike Locksley (the Mike Locksley era)

Weather Forecast

Sunny, 80*, winds at 5 MPH…. perfect for a college football game.

James Q

About the Author:

James Q. has been involved with sports and gambling his entire life. A former division 1 scholarship basketball player, James understands sports (and especially basketball) inside-and-out. Following his basketball playing days, James parlayed his gambling skills into a semi-pro poker career. James resides in Los Angeles, and especially loves the Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Rams, and Los Angeles Dodgers. And when he isn't betting on sports (and writing about it), James can be found performing stand-up comedy on the Sunset Strip.

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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